| 31.08.2021

Doctoral thesis: Both customers and employees feel better in healthcare when supported

New research shows that a service-providing organisation facilitates the well-being of individuals by supporting, socialising, and empowering them. Technology, service environment and design, and internal practices and arrangements also contribute to the individuals’ well-being.

In his doctoral thesis titled “Whence the well-being of individuals? Organizational roles of a transformative service provider in a healthcare setting”, Arafat Rahman explores the sources of customers’ and employees’ well-being within healthcare service.

“I examined healthcare customers’ and employees’ well-being in a developing country since an essential service such as healthcare faces many challenges in such countries. Although healthcare services have inherent promise to work towards well-being, the results are shaped by the extent of support, socialisation, and empowerment efforts put forth by a provider organisation”, Rahman says.   

According to Rahman, as a dominant source of individuals’ well-being, a service-providing organisation applies support initiatives by caring about individuals’ opinions, goals and values, assisting in problem situations, among others. However, the ways a service-providing organisation designs its service environment, applies technology features, and manages internal practices have implications for the individuals’ well-being. For example, the use of nature-based elements like plants in a service environment helps reduce fatigue and improve well-being.

Likewise, a service-providing organisation’s internal practice of encouraging employee participation in wellness program has influence on employee well-being. However, apart from an organisation’s roles, well-being depends also on individuals, collectives (e.g., family, community), service systems, and situations.

“I found that a healthcare service-providing organisation’s role in socialising customers has greater influence than supporting them on their well-being. The socialisation takes place by providing a set of information that positively influences customers’ beliefs of doing a particular health-related task and expectations about desired outcomes. However, an organisation’s support for healthcare employees has a major influence on their engagement to job and organisation, leading to their enhanced well-being. It is also necessary to empower employees to enhance their well-being”, Rahman says.

“Healthcare managers or practitioners need to implement strategies and programmes that emphasise on the support from the organisation, socialisation, and empowerment efforts in order to facilitate the well-being of both healthcare customers and employees”, Rahman concludes.

Doctoral student Arafat Rahman will defend the doctoral thesis in Marketing: "Whence the well-being of individuals? Organizational roles of a transformative service provider in a healthcare setting" on Thursday 2 September at 10 a.m.

Opponent and university: Associate professor Joerg Finsterwalder (University of Canterbury)

Chair: Professor Peter Björk

The complete doctoral thesis can be found through this link.

The doctoral defence will be held by video conference. Access the video conference via Teams via this link.

Contact information:

Arafat Rahman
E-mail: arafat.rahman@hanken.fi